WordPress 5.0 Update: Everything You Need to Know

WordPress 5.0 Update: Everything You Need to Know

Following the announcement from the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, that WordPress 5.0 would be released on 6th December 2018, we’ve gathered together everything you should know about the update.

Based on the stability, testing, and reports on the release candidates for WordPress 5.0 so far, we are now targeting December 6th for public release.

Matt Mullenweg, WordPress Founder

With over 75 million sites built on the WordPress platform, a major update like WordPress 5.0 matters to a lot of people. There’s plenty of questions to be asked about the update – Why is it needed? What new features will it bring? How do I update my site? – don’t worry, we’ve got them all covered.

What is WordPress 5.0?

WordPress 5.0 is the latest platform update from WordPress and is set to fundamentally change the way we use the platform.

The update was released on December 6th 2018, and is now ready for users to upgrade and switch over to the newest version.

There’s always buzz in the lead up to a new version of WordPress being released. However, few versions have created such a stir in the community as this one, due to some pretty major changes and new features.

Why is WordPress 5.0 different to previous updates?

Most previous updates have been about taking small steps to change, rather than leaps – until the release of WordPress 5.0.

The most recent previous update, 4.9 ‘Tipton’, enabled users to schedule design changes in the WordPress Customiser so they can go live at later dates. WordPress 4.8, on the other hand, brought plenty of widget updates – meaning we no longer had to add images to widgets manually.

The release also marks a change in how WordPress plans to handle its updates. For a while now we’ve been getting two major WordPress releases a year, with lots of mini-updates in between. 

They now plan to move away from scheduled releases to remove the pressure of meeting predetermined release deadlines. This means that the platform will be able to make more significant changes and we won’t get updates that feel as though they lack meaningful features.

What to expect from the WordPress 5.0 Update

The platform’s focus is shifting towards creating a more intuitive site-building experience. That shift means that WordPress 5.0 is set to bring some major changes.

The Gutenberg Editor

The biggest change to come from the update is the launch of the Gutenberg Editor. Gutenberg’s introduction to the platform means a whole new editing experience to get acquainted with.

The new WordPress Gutenberg Editor

If you don’t want to switch the the Gutenberg editor just yet, don’t worry, you’ll be able to continue using the Classic editor by installing the Classic Editor plugin.

The goal of the Gutenberg editor is to make adding rich content simpler and improve ease of use. This new editing experience has been designed and built for media-rich pages and posts.

Posts and pages will be made up of blocks, which can be customised to easily add different types of media or styles of text. The flexibility that blocks bring will change the way we create WordPress content, aimed at enabling us to work more efficiently and save time.

Security Updates

As the most popular CMS in the world, WordPress has become a lucrative target for cyber-attacks in the past. The 5.0 update will come with better security features to solidify the WordPress core.

Security recommendations from the WordPress core team are to use better hosting providers, along with SSL certificates, two-factor authentication, and application level password protection.

Mobile Optimisation

With the ‘Mobile First’ principle front of so many people’s minds, the WordPress 5.0 update includes a new responsive theme.

The new WordPress theme, Twenty Nineteen, is highly responsive across all mobile devices and screen sizes. It is also fast, giving a better overall performance and improving website’s SERPs.

Crop Background Image

Cropping background images can be a boring and time-consuming job for any web designer.

WordPress 5.0 lets you crop the image before it goes live, saving time which can be used for more advanced tasks.

Updating Your Site to WordPress 5.0

WordPress introduced automated updates in 2013, however, these only apply to minor releases and urgent plugin or theme updates. All other major releases still need to be processed manually.

Tip: Create a backup before updating to WordPress 5.0. You can’t go back!

Things to consider before updating:

When you upgrade: always make a backup. That way, if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to restore your site.

Another piece of advice is to check whether your themes and plugins will work with the WordPress 5.0 update. If you’re not sure, download the Classic Editor plugin before you update to continue using it.

If the next couple of months are a busy time in your company’s or site’s calendar: postpone updating. Update in a couple of months once you’re less busy – the update will probably be more stable by then too!

If you'd like to learn more about updating your WordPress site, don't hesitate to contact us and speak to our expert WordPress Development Team.

Charlotte Bowers
charlotte@kanukadigital.com